Then, Old Man Winter made his appearance this week with a light dusting of snow over freezing rain.
In October, I added another year to my life and had the opportunity to visit the Butterfly House at Carleton University, on my birthday.
These little creatures, from around the world, don't have a long life span, so it was a pleasure to be able to see them.
NEW FELT COVERS
Just finished these two beauties this morning. The Merino wool felt makes a beautiful cover.
A couple of months ago I was wandering around one of the farmer's markets in the city and met an Alpaca farmer. She had a number of felted products at her table and I asked if she could make me some felt for covers. After a number of discussions and samples we came to an agreement on a felt that works with the book covers. The felt is Alpaca wool over merino wool. The first two I made were shades of green, one of which was sold this past weekend and will be making its way to Alberta for Christmas.
The journal on the right is the one that has sold.
I found this piece of antler at a health food store and thought it was interesting. They were sold as dog chew pieces. I knew I would find a use for it at some point and this journal was the perfect fit.
The felt was quite long and I didn't want to cut off a piece, so I created two journals in one - the smaller journal has 30 pages and then when opened fully there is the larger journal with 100 pages. The Alpaca wool is very soft to the touch and the Merino wool gives the sturdiness required to make the cover - a beautiful combination.
The next piece of felt included silk with the Alpaca and Merino wools making the covers very soft to the touch.
Last year, at the Selections Art and Craft Show I discovered a lady from Quebec who makes the most interesting wooden buttons. I picked some up from her this year when she was at the same show.
The Alpaca button was a perfect match for this journal. These were shorter pieces of felt so I added more pages to these two journals - each has 150 pages of Fabriano sketch paper.
The little red bird button had three holes in it, so I added a zircon to one of the holes, adding a little sparkle to the button and book.
CARVED ACRYLIC COVERS
I'm always looking for new materials for book covers. This past fall I discovered acrylic and decided to see what they would look like if I carved them. I am happy to say they turned out beautifully. Due to the scratch factor of the acrylic, I created covers for the books which will lessen the scratching. Over time, with use, they will get a beautiful patina on them that will enhance the carvings.
The spine of the cover is leather and the brass button has an embossed Hermes on it. I found the button in an antique shop and was told they were off a postman's uniform.
This is the cover open and the carved acrylic cover of the book. I painted the back of the acrylic which allowed me to carve from both sides, giving some depth to the carved surface.
CARVED ALUMINUM COVERS
Recently, while wandering around my favourite art store I discovered some aluminum panels. I took one home to experiment with. I carved the cover and then drilled holes in it for stitching. All went very well and I now have created two journals with carved covers.
While waiting for the bus one day I found some ginkgo leaves on the lawn. I collected a few and used these as patterns for the carvings. I am quite happy with the final result.
This was the first aluminum cover that I created. The front cover has images similar to the acrylic cover.
The back cover has five ginkgo leaves carved into it.
The second set of aluminum book covers I made have ginkgo leaves on the front and back covers.
This is the front and back of the second journal. I had a great time carving the covers and am very pleased with the finished product.
Photographing the aluminum and acrylic is a big challenge as they have very reflective surfaces.
That's all for now. I'll be at the Shenkman Arts Centre for the BazArt Christmas show on Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th from 11:00 to 4:00. If you are in the area, stop by and see these new pieces in person. They are much prettier in person - ha ha.
You can also find my books at the Ottawa School of Art at 35 George Street. Their Christmas fundraising sale opens November 23rd at 5:00 pm and runs into December.
I am still waiting to hear about the opening of the new Ottawa Art Gallery, where my books, cards and book marks can also be found.
You can also contact me directly at: email@example.com to inquire about the books.
Wishing you all a restful holiday season filled with love.